and now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

April 27, 2009

OK, now that I’ve got all of the protests and politics out of my system (until this Friday, May 1st, International Workers’ Rights Day – which they actually celebrate here), I can finally return to updates that look more like my life and less like news reports or political diatribes.

Over my two week Easter vacation between German courses, I volunteered at cut and paste, a live design competition.  2D, 3D, and motion graphics designers made images and films that tackled a certain theme – and they had a time limit.  The four motion graphics guys worked for eight hours to make 15 seconds of video (that is 2 seconds per hour!), the 3D graphics designers made 3D images in 20 minutes, and the 2D designers were given 15 minutes.  They hook up a projector to the computers, so the audience could watch the designers work and could cheer along.  They turned out to be in pretty dire need of some good volunteers and I met with the event coordinator beforehand a few times, so I ended up backstage making sure everyone was ready to go on stage at the assigned time, which was really fun because I got to know the competitors.  Overall, the event was a hit, and I had a blast.  You can learn more at the website linked above, and check out the results and the winners here.

Since then, things have both calmed down and picked up as I settle into a crazy routine.  This week, I am going through a lovely process called bureaucracy, as I struggle to live here legally (my 3 months tourist non-visa is up at the end of the week).  I went to the Immigration office for advice, and only cried once, and then the woman who was explaining my options helpfully reminded me that the easiest way to legally stay in Germany is to get married.  I found this a bit of a jarring suggestion from a government employee, but I guess that’s what happens in a country that doesn’t glorify the sanctity of marriage as much as we do in the US…?

My history internship is still alive and well, and even yields a bit of English proofreading work on the side (my boss being a translator by trade), which is nice and paid.  Also, I got a second internship, also unpaid, but exciting.  For the next three months, I will be a graphic design intern at Berlin’s English-Language Magazine, Exberliner.  I did some graphic design in college and have done a bit of volunteer and free-lance work since graduation, and lately, I’m getting more and more excited about publication layout.  So this intership is very exciting and exactly the kind of experience I need.  As my friend Laurence said upon hearing the news, “that’s like a ligit publication!  I mean, that isn’t like some guy’s zine in his basement!”  And its true, Exberliner is a real magazine and you know what, most people here have even heard of it.  Crazy.  Last week was my first week and I put together a two-page spread – a map of the neighborhood Friedrichshain (you may remember this lovely Bezirk from back in February) with photos and write-ups of recommended shops and restaurants.  So look for it starting tomorrow on a newsstand (most likely not at all) near you!

I also started my new German course last week (I did end up taking the placement test again and I tested out of A2.2 and right into B1), so you might say I’m a bit busy.  But I’ve decided I am okay with running from one job to class to another job five to six days a week, especially because when I say running, I mean riding my bike through the most bike-friendly, flattest city I’ve ever lived in.  Also, I haven’t been busy like this in a really long time, so it feels pretty good.

Now that I don’t have a pile of epic events to write about, I hope to keep the updates more frequent and more manageable in size.  I’ve got plans for explaining exactly how ridiculous this language is as well as a post on why the bars are full every night of the week and no one seems to know there is a crisis going on.  Also, keep an eye out for my trip to London to see the Russian Constructivism exhibit at the Tate Modern in mid-May.  Until then, stay away from the pigs!  I hear they’re contagious!



  1. I have a longer comment about art and intentional social amnesia and the Berlin wall…but that will have to wait. Just wanted to say that it was May 1st today, and that I’m excited to hear reports of May Day in Berlin, whenever they come (no pressure)

  2. So, who’s the lucky German? I will totally fly over and be emergency bridesmaid in your fake wedding.

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